The Journey continues…Reflections from Pastor Nancy
late-August / September 2014
I hope this letter finds you well, enjoying the final weeks of mild summer. I write to you all today with a sense of exhaustion and joy after a wonderful week of Faith Row Vacation Bible School. This was our third year of collaborating with St. Mark’s and St. Thomas…third time’s charm! We have learned so much about how best to work together, and I feel heartened by the evidence of a growing sense of shared community. No growth comes without growing pains, of course, so we’ll continue to learn together. But all in all, what a wonderful week, learning together about Moses’ and the Israelites journey to the Promised Land. Thank you to all you dreamers, campers, collaborators, time-and-talent-givers….you all let your lights shine and we are enlivened by your energy and evident love of God and each other.
As the children led us in worship on Sunday at St. Mark’s, we learned together about a vision of the Promised Land…yes Moses’ vision, but also the one God continually sets before us as we break bread together and work and pray for a world where God’s peace surrounds us. As we sang together “Come and Go with Me to that Land…” I couldn’t help but feel my heart come close to splitting as I thought about what is happening in our world on this very day. We are so far from Moses’ vision of the Promised Land…so very far from peace, from mutual respect for others of God’s beloved children, for God’s perfect creation. Perhaps you share that sense with me, a sense that we are far from those promises.
As many of you know, I plan to lead a trip to Palestine this Fall, where we will harvest olives on Sami Abed’s farm…one of the few farms left standing in his particular area of the West Bank, which has been heavily settled by Israelis over the past decades. I am sad to report that just last week, right after leading the children in singing “there will be peace there in that land,” I learned that Sami’s farm has been attacked, his olive trees killed. God’s promise of peace feels so very elusive.
And yet. Led by almost as many adults, thirty-five of God’s children gathered this week to talk about peace, to share signs of God’s peace, to lead a whole community in breaking bread and promising to work for justice. I have to believe that these are the very children that will lead us to that land. I see it in each of their faces.
I am praying, with you, always for God’s peace and justice on earth, and with gratitude for your efforts in realizing the vision of that Promised Land,